Due to the relentless release schedule that us K-pop fans have to endure, it’s not easy to consume all the content at once. That’s why I thought it would be fun at the end of each month, to look back at my top 5 singles and B-sides along with my top 3 albums. Although my placement for singles will mostly be based on my reviews, there are songs that tend to grow/fade much more than others.
After months of mediocrity, June finally gave us the big hits that we were severely starved of. Not only was the month absolutely packed but the resulting music was also surprisingly strong. First we got the finale of Road To Kingdom, which although will not be missed, gave us some of the strongest remixes and reality show singles singles we’ve seen in a long time. Shoutout to Verivery’s wonderful rendition of Gogobebe, ONEUS’s excellent symphonic reinvention of Be Mine and ONF’s incredibly fun remix of It’s Raining, which were three cuts from the show I just couldn’t stop listening to. And with Kingdom on the horizon, I long for more of these incredibly enjoyable remixes.
Speaking of incredibly enjoyable, my top five this month is the strongest I’ve had all year. My top three especially are some of the best songs I’ve heard all year and are so closely matched that they could be rearranged in almost any order depending on how I’m feeling. And for the first time, my top 3 were almost exactly as I had predicted! I fully expected these groups to deliver and they boy did they deliver. My top pick has only been with me for a few days but I can already tell it’s going to have great longevity over the next few months. My second and third picks are both tracks that weren’t afraid to experiment and really stood out because of that. The other two were also standouts within a very strong month despite being polar opposites!
But the real success story of June lies within the strength of its albums. While the singles this month were of a high quality across the board, there were just some incredible b-sides. The sheer influx of comebacks spawned a plethora of album tracks that far outshone their title tracks. In fact I would go as far as to say that I prefer my top 5 b-sides of the month over the singles. You can tell by the size of the honourable mentions list that it wasn’t hard pinning down my top 5 (well technically 6) but I ended up picking the songs that perfectly complemented the current season. It’s also the first time that we’ve got two tracks tied for the number 5 position! Although the album they spawned from was only released a few days ago they, along with almost every other song on the record gave incredible first impressions. These two songs were especially riveting and were so closely matched that they were impossible to seperate. We’ll see how time treats them but for now I love them both equally. The same could be said for my top 2 picks which are only divided based on how much playtime each has gotten. I adore both songs and their upbeat nature is exactly what we need.
But while there was a lot to enjoy, 2020 once again faltered when it came to big name comebacks. In a month that had comebacks from the likes of Twice, IZ*ONE, Seventeen and Blackpink! It was incredible to see each track underwhelm so hard. Each group returned with with what is likely their worst single yet. This is not only worrying but shows that name recognition and popularity doesn’t always translate into good songs. Blackpink especially returned with one of the most obnoxious singles of the year and as a result earned the lowest rating in this sites history.
Looking towards June, I’m just hoping that we continue this strong streak of songs and not plummet into another depressing pool of dark melody-less angst.
Bang Yedam (Treasure) – Wayo (8.75 – 9)
From an initial shoulder-shrug to one of the years most enjoyable mid-tempo’s, Bang Yedam’s Wayo has gone onto have much more longevity than I would have ever expected. Yedam has a great voice and a track like this is a perfect match. The tracks final minute is just fantastic.
Nature – Girls (8.25 – 8.5)
The added promotion and numerous (very cool) music and performance videos have bumped up this song just a bit in my eyes. It still could have done with a stronger chorus but boy does this concept show potential.
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) – Butterfly (8.5 – 9)
Ah, the power of an actual chorus. While I still have my qualms about the tracks overly stuffed arrangement, there is no denying the power of that megawatt hook. Not their best song but easily one of the most bombastic songs of the year.
3YE – YESSIR (Review)
A.C.E – Stand By You (Review)
Cravity – Cloud 9 (Review)
E’Last- Swear (Review)
Ha Sungwoon – Get Ready (Review)
IU – Into The I-Land (Review)
Nature – Girls (Review)
Seventeen – My My (Review)
Stray Kids – Blueprint (Review)
Stray Kids – God’s Menu (Review)
TXT – Eternally (Review)
WOODZ – Love Me Harder (Review)
5. Butterfly – WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Review)
4. Wayo – Bang Yedam (TREASURE) (Review)
3. New World – ONF (Review)
2. One (Lucid Dream) – Golden Child (Review)
1. Pporappippam – Sunmi (Review)
TOP 5 B-SIDES
Barbie – Jang Ye Eun (Review)
Beautiful-X – Verivery (Review)
Hola – WJSN (Review)
Hold Tight – AB6IX
Kidult – Seventeen
Light – E’Last
Merry Go Round – IZ*ONE
Midnight Blue – AB6IX
Moment – Golden Child
Our Garden – WJSN (Review)
Oxygen – Twice
Sweet Summer Day – Twice
Together – Seventeen
Tra-la – WJSN (Review)
Pass Me By – Golden Child
Phobia – Stray Kids
Where You Are – WJSN (Review)
5. Vivid / Surreal – AB6IX
4. Pantomime – WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Review)
3. Haven – Stray KIds
2. Moya Moya – Weki Meki
1. OMG – Golden Child (Review)
TOP 3 ALBUMS
3. Go Live – Stray Kids
2. VIVID – AB6IX
1. Neverland – WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Review)
Overall Month Grade: A